Tag Archives: Asia Trend

Delicious Baumkuchen Cakes

Nenrinya Bakery Haneda Airport, Tokyo Japan

Nenrinya Bakery Haneda Airport, Tokyo Japan

While traveling in Japan, I can’t help but stop and enjoy all the wonderful foods I come across.  My favorite foods are, of course all of the sweet desserts!

While I was in Tokyo Haneda Airport, I encountered this delicious, delicate baumkuchen cake at Nenrinya Bakery.

Nenrinya Bakery Haneda Airport, Tokyo, Japan Photo Credit: David Keisilng

Nenrinya Bakery Haneda Airport, Tokyo, Japan
Photo Credit: David Keisilng

The Japanese people have adopted this lovely German layer cake as one of their own favorite desserts.  Baked uniquely with each layer of the batter brushed on while rotating on a spit, each layer browned before adding another layer.

Baumkuchen, Nenrinya Bakery Photo Credit: David Keisling

Baumkuchen, Nenrinya Bakery Photo Credit: David Keisling

You can actually watch the cakes being made fresh in the window. Which is how I, discovered these lovely cakes.

Nenrinya Bakery Haneda Airport, Tokyo, Japan. Photo Credit: David Keisling

Nenrinya Bakery Haneda Airport, Tokyo, Japan.
Photo Credit: David Keisling

They even have sandwiches, where the buns are the cakes!

Hamburger baumkuchen Photo Credit: David Keisling

Baumkuchen sandwiches
Photo Credit: David Keisling

These cakes make great gifts to bring back home.

Baumkuchen Cakes makes great gifts Photo Credit: David Keisling

Baumkuchen Cakes makes great gifts
Photo Credit: David Keisling

You can find there bakery locations here:

Ota-ku, Tokyo Haneda Airport 3-4-2 Haneda Airport Terminal 2 in the starting gate number 51 boarding preoral
TEL 03-6428-8710
Hours 6:00 to 20:00

Ota-ku, Tokyo Haneda Airport 3-3-2 Haneda Airport Terminal 1 2F specialties sweets Museum                                                                                                                     TEL 03-575-7178                                                                                                          Hours 6:00 to 20:00


Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 1-9-1 JR Tokyo Station premises Yaesu central opening in the ticket                                                                                                       TEL 03-5293-4427 [rings home Customer Service Center: TEL 03-3316-2356]
Hours 6:30 to 21:30

Saitama Urawa-ku Higashitakasago cho 11-1 Daimaru Urawa Parco B1
TEL 048-615-6020
Hours 10:00 to 21:00

Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 5-chome, 6-15 seat STONE [The Stone] 1F
TEL 03-5537-3910
Seven days a week Hours [Mon-Sat] 10:30 to 20:00, [day and a public holiday] 10:30 to 19:00

Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 1-9-1 Daimaru Tokyo first floor
TEL 03-3212-8011 (dies)
Hours [Mon-Fri] 10:00 to 21:00, [Saturday, Sunday and public holidays] 10:00 to 20:00

Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Nishi-ku, Takashima 2-18-1 Sogo Yokohama underground second floor
TEL 045-465-2111 (dies)
Hours 10:00 to 20:00




Ozoni “Japanese New Years Soup” recipe


Marc Matsumoto's Ozoni photo credit from  http://www.pbs.org/food/recipes/ozoni/

Marc Matsumoto’s Ozoni photo credit from

New Years in Japan is called Oshogatsu, お正月 (おしょうがつ – oshōgatsu) it is the most important day that’s celebrated in Japan.  Steep in traditions that goes back hundreds of years, you will still find many Japanese today continuing the same traditions.

On January 1, millions of Japanese visit shrines or temples, offering up a prayer, usually for good health and good fortune.  It is also customary to eat Ozoni the Japanese New Years soup.  This Japanese New Years soup is eaten on the first day of the new year.  Marc Matsumoto a food blogger, shares his family recipe for Ozoni.


  • 1 cup water + 4 cups water
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 pound boneless chicken thighs
  • 8 slices carrot, carved into the shape of a cherry blossom
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 small bunch spinach, lightly boiled and drained
  • mochi
  • yuzu


  1. About an hour before you prepare your Ozoni, put 1 cup of water in a bowl along with the dried shiitake mushrooms. 
  2. Put the chicken in a colander. Boil a kettle of water and pour it over the chicken, letting the water go down the drain. This removes blood and impurities from the meat, giving you a clear soup. 
  3. Put the chicken in a pot along with the remaining 4 cups of water, the carrots, sake, and salt, and then simmer for 20 minutes, skimming to remove any scum that rises to the top. Remove the chicken and set it aside. 
  4. Add the soy sauce, along with the soaking liquid from the shiitake mushrooms to the soup and then adjust salt to taste. Slice up the shiitake mushrooms and add them to the soup. 
  5. Lay down a sheet of aluminum foil in a toaster oven then toast the mochi until it inflates and turns golden brown along the top. You can also just microwave it until it inflates.
  6. To serve, place piece of grilled mochi at the bottom of the bowl, then add a few slices of chicken. Gather a few strands of spinach and tie them in loop and place in the bowl. Add the soup along with two slices of carrot and some shiitake mushrooms. Garnish with some yuzu zest and serve.


If you can’t find yuzu, you can substitute Meyer orange peel

View Marc Marc Matusmoto’s original family recipe 



NHK’s 65th “Kohaku Uta Gassen”Red and White Song Battle

Get ready for another NHK annual New Year’s Eve music program “The 65th Kohaku Uta Gassen”. This years lineup will be hosted by Actress Yoshitaka Yuriko and popular group Arashi.

This year’s  “65th Kohaku Uta Gassen” program will feature a total of 51 artists. First-time appearances by HKT48, May J.(performing the popular song “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen.), Yakushimaru Hiroko, V6, SEKAI NO OWARI. In addition, TV anime ‘Youkai Watch’ and anime character ‘Jibanyan’, along with King Cream Soda and Dream5 will be performing on the show, but will not competing.

Ayumi Hamasaki, will not be performing for the first time in 15 years. She told fans on Twitter that she preferred to focus on projects she wants to do, rather that on what she feels obligated to do.

Who will win the 2014 competition? You have to watch to find out! So far, the red team (female) has won 29 times, and the white team (male) 35 times.

The show will broadcast in Hawaii

Thursday 1/1/15 on KIKU Station.

Airs: 5:00pm-10:00pm

Repeats: 1/2/15 11am-4pm

Please check your local listing for show time.  Heres a link to T.V. Japan on HD

This year’s artist list are: (In parenthesis are the number of times appeared.)

Red Team

Ayaka (7)
E-girls (2)
Ikimonogakari (7)
Ishikawa Sayuri (37)
AKB48 (7)
SKE48 (3)
HKT48 (debut)
NMB48 (2)
Kanda Sayaka (2)
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (3)
Kouzai Kaori (18)
Godai Natsuko (21)
Sakamoto Fuyumi (26)
Shiina Ringo (2)
Yoshimi Tendo (19)
Nakajima Miyuki (2)
Kana Nishino (5)
Perfume (7)
Ayako Fuji (20)
Seiko Matsuda (18)
Nana Mizuki (6)
Kaori Mizumori (12)
Miwa (2)
May J. (debut)
Momoiro Clover Z (3)
Yakushimaru Hiroko (debut)
Akiko Wada (38)


White Team

Arashi (6)
Itsuki Hiroshi (44)
EXILE (10)
Kanjani8 (3)
Chris Hart (2)
Go Hiromi (27)
Golden Bomber (3)
Sandaime J Soul Brothers (3)
SMAP (22)
Sexy Zone (2)
T.M.Revolution (5)
TOKIO (21)
Hideaki Tokunaga (9)
AAA (5)
Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi (4)
Kiyoshi Hikawa (15)
V6 (debut)
Kohei Fukuda (2)
Fukuyama Masaharu (7)
Hosokawa Takashi (38)
Porno Graffitti (13)
Miwa Akihiro (3)
Shinichi Mori (47)


Source: http://www1.nhk.or.jp/kouhaku/artists/index.html

DIY Acupressure: Alleviate Anxiety and Gain a Healthy Glowing Skin

Over 5,000 years ago in Asia, acupressure was used to release tension, increase circulation and reduce pain for a more vibrant health.  By using the right pressure points with the correct pressure, you can regain lost texture and regain a healthy and more youthful skin.  Today Acupressure is ideal for an at home self-treatment, for everyone. Acupuncture and Acupressure uses the same pressure points and meridians, instead of needles acupressure uses firm gentle finger pressure. Points (A) Heavenly Pillar- Relieves stress, insomnia, eye strain, stiff neck, swollen eyes and sore throats.  This pressure point is located at the base of the skull, where the spine is attached.  Just one inch outward from each side of spine.  Hold this place and press for 3 minutes. Points (B) Heavenly Rejuvenation- Relieves nerve tension, stiff neck helps to increase resistance to colds and flu. Points (C) Crooked Marsh- Relieves nervous stomach, anxiety, arm and elbow pain and chest discomfort. Points (D) Inner Gate-Relieves nausea, anxiety palpitations and wrist pain Points (E) Spirit Gate- Relieves emotional imbalances, fear, nervousness, anxiety and forgetfulness. IMG_1592.JPG   IMG_2996.JPG


DISCLAIMER: This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem and is not a substitute for professional care.  If you feel you may have a health problem, please consult with your primary care physician.

Ramen Heaven! Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku (Republic)

Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku Photo Credit: ionasiatrend.com

Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku Photo Credit: ionasiatrend.com

Hands down Sapporo has the BEST Ramen EVER!!!  Hokkaido, the most Northern Island of Japan is famous for ramen.  Because it is very cold most of the year, ramen is very popular there. While visiting Sapporo recently, I bumped into a Ramen Village.  I was in Heaven!  These nostalgically themed ramen restaurants are located on the 10th floor of the Esta Shopping Center, Sapporo JR Station.  There are eight different nostalgic ramen restaurants that represents four different prefectures of Hokkaido.  Only the best of the best are here: Asahikawa, Hakodate, Kushiro and of course Sapporo.  When your all done you can even shop at the souvenir shop.

Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku Photo Credit: ionasiatrend.com

Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku Photo Credit: ionasiatrend.com


Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku Photo Credit: ionasiatrend.com

Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku Photo Credit: ionasiatrend.com


Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku Photo Credit: ionasiatrend.com

Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku Photo Credit: ionasiatrend.com


Check out this little video clip



Located on the 10th floor, in the Esta Sapporo JR Tower shopping mall, check out there site here.




You might also find this interesting: Kai Japanese Ramen in Honolulu, Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin Restaurant


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A Different View of Tokyo SkyTree

At the park Photo Credit: ionasiatrend.com

At the park
Photo Credit: ionasiatrend.com


A short distance walk from the famous Tokyo SkyTree, in a small park stood a line of people.  Wondering what they where doing, we noticed that they where waiting to take a picture in front of a huge convex mirror of a highway leading into the sky with a perfect backdrop of the SkyTree.


Tokyo SkyTree and highway to the heavens. Photo Credit : ionasiatrend.com

Tokyo SkyTree and highway to the heavens. Photo Credit : ionasiatrend.com

Tokyo SkyTower Photo Credit : ionasiatrend.com

Tokyo SkyTower Photo Credit : ionasiatrend.com



The Park is located approximately here.   I recommend taking your family here.  It doesn’t  matter if you have small kids, older kids or no kids.  It was a lot of fun at this park as you can see from the pictures we took.  The metal roller slide was awesome!


Tokyo SkyTree and highway to the heavens park. Photo Credit : ionasiatrend.com

Tokyo SkyTree and highway to the heavens park. Photo Credit : ionasiatrend.com


Park near Tokyo SkyTree . Photo Credit : ionasiatrend.com

Park near Tokyo SkyTree . Photo Credit : ionasiatrend.com


Park near the Tokyo SkyTree. This is the metal roller slide.  Photo Credit : ionasiatrend.com

Park near the Tokyo SkyTree. This is the metal roller slide. Photo Credit : ionasiatrend.com

Park near the Tokyo SkyTree  Photo Credit : ionasiatrend.com

Park near the Tokyo SkyTree.  Yes, thats me going down the slide. Photo Credit : ionasiatrend.com



You might also find this interesting Tokyo’s SkyTree.

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Datsumo Labo Japan’s Hair Removal Spa



Datsumo Labo is Asia’s most popular hair removal spa.  Check out Japan’s website here.  This is Datsumo Labo website from Singapore.

We all wish to have that smooth baby soft skin, right?  Im very fortunate I don’t have too much unwanted hair.  But, for some, hair can grow thick and in places we wish not to have them.

There are many methods to remove hair.  Depending where the hairs are located you could tweeze, shave, wax or use depilatory creams.  But there are problems that come with these forms of hair removal.




Why Datsumo Labo?

1. Painless hair removal treatment with the latest State-of-the-Art Technology.

2. Affordable they have many package deals that you can choose from.

3. Money back  guarantee

So, I had to try this out while I was in Japan.

I first visited Datsumo Labo in the Tokyo Area.  But, unfortunately they do not offer any walk-in’s.  You need to make an appointment, Datsumo Labo offers a fast and easy 40 seconds on-line booking.  Heres the link for Japan and heres the link for Singapore.

They were wonderful enough to get me an appointment in Sapporo.  My first appointment was a consultation and paper work. Everything is written in Japanese and they will not be able to translate anything for you.  I was lucky enough to have my mom there for me.  She read everything  and explained what I didn’t know.  I was disappointed that they did not honor “15% off by quoting a blogger’s name”  they didn’t even know any bloggers on the Singapore’s website.

Here are some areas that are popular to remove hair from.



A few days later I came back for my procedure. I had my legs, under arms,  I line, V line and O lines done (Brazilian).  It was painless.  If you do get this procedure done they recommend that you do not go in the public bath house for at least 10 days.  So make sure you plan wisely since Japan has so many onsen and bath house.

Unfortunately there are no Datsumo Labo in America yet.  Im hoping someday they will decide to bring it here.


Getting ready for my procedure



Datsumo Labo


IMG_0884 2

Datsumo Labo in Sapporo is located in this building




Check out Datsumo Labo Youtube Channel (Singapore)





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Mitsui Garden Hotel Shiodome Italia-Gai – Hotel Review


ImageArriving in Tokyo’s Homamatsucho Station we walked 8 minutes to our Mitsui Garden Hotel Shiodome Italia-Gai.  A cozy little hotel still under some renovations.


You can see in the picture that the 1st two beds are pushed together and theres barely any room between the 2nd and 3rd beds. The Third bed was also against the wall.

Again, our room was one with 3 beds (please see my article on ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel).  One bed was large enough for me and my husband to sleep comfortably in.  We only used two beds, but had to pay for three beds.  Our room was very tight and terribly uncomfortable.  We also had a small table and chair that just got in the way in our room.  We had barely any room to walk  especially once our suitcases took the only area left in the room.

I can only speak about the room we were given, which was the last room down the hall (or the first, depends how you look at it).  It may have been the way that room was designed, but the ventilation in the room was terrible.  It was very humid after every shower, and the room had a slight musty smell every time we came back from our days adventure.  So we started to leave the window in our room opened while we were out for the day.  This made coming back to the room a little more pleasant smelling.

Not only was there still some construction in the hotel, but there was construction right out side the hotel as well.   While we did have a beautiful view of Tokyo Tower, there also was a huge construction crane in the way of our beautiful view.



There was one restaurant in the hotel Italian Buffet and Cafe La Marea Unfortunately, the only time we wanted to eat there it was closed for renovation, but the day before we could smell the food and it did smell delicious.  Luckily, Lawson Station (Japanese convenience store) was right next to the hotel and we just got a lot of great food to eat there.


Free for guest is the public bath or sento.  The night I went it was busy.  There are about seven shower stalls and a  large soaking tub.  The view while soaking was amazing.  Amenities at the public bath includes shampoo, conditioner, body soap, q-tips and hair dryer.  I did see one washer and dryer on the ladies side of the public bath.  It took ¥300 for the washer and ¥100 for the dryer.

Free internet for all guest.

My Review for the Mitsui Garden Shiodome Italia-Gai:

The convenient location earn this hotel a 3.0 star. Only a 8 minute walk from Hamamatsucho Station, 7 minute walk from Onarimon Station, 12 minute walk from JR Shimbashi Station, about 15 minute walk to the famous Ginza Shops and only 16 minutes from Hamamatsucho Station to Haneda Monorail.  Check out the access map.  While the food smelled delicious, it underwent construction the night we wanted to eat there.  The hotel had free internet access (we rented a mobile wifi so never needed to use the hotel wifi).  The public bath was small, but still a nice touch.  Construction across the street was noisy and the crane interfered with what could have been a nice view of the Tokyo Tower.  Room was cramped with three beds and had poor ventilation which made the room smell musty.  Would I stay here again?  No, I wouldn’t.

cool view of Tokyo Tower from our room at Mitsui Garden Hotel Shiodome Italia-Gai

cool view of Tokyo Tower from our room at Mitsui Garden Hotel Shiodome Italia-Gai


Opening the window for fresh air in the room helped with the musty smell.


Night view of Tokyo Tower at Mitsui Garden Shiodome Italia-Gai


construction across the street from our hotel at Mitsui Garden Hotel Shiodome Itali-Gai

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George Clooney – Kirin Beer Commercial in Japan

This commercial is adorable, I saw it while visiting Japan March 2014.


The video in this post are not mine, but was uploaded from Lost in Translation

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Narita Airport to Tokyo – Ride the Narita Express at a Discounted Rate

Narita Express (N’EX) is fast and convenient way to get from Narita Airport to Tokyo without too much hassle.  The N’EX takes only 53 minutes and requires you to purchase the tickets the day of your travel.  I have read somewhere that you can purchase your ticket a day before. After standing in the long line for an hour, we found out that you can not purchase your tickets a day in advanced.  You must purchase tickets for N’EX the day of traveling. We were fortunate to purchase the limited edition Suica card and N’EX special.  JR East Rails is not currently offering that limited edition Suica Card and N’EX deal, that deal expired March 31, 2014.

Currently and till the end of 2014, there is a discount for gaijin (foreigner) travelers. From Narita Airport Terminal 1 and 2 to Tokyo’s major train station in the metropolitan area, including Shinagawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Yokohama without the hassle of transferring.  Adult fare is ¥1500 (one way) for children (6-11) ¥750 yen (one way).  Your guaranteed a seat. Your seat reclines back so you can relax, all seats are equipped with a large tray.  For your convenience there are large spaces overhead for your luggages and if thats not large enough not to fret, at the end of each car there is a section for storing your large suitcases.  Theres also a dial lock so you can set and safely lock your suitcases.

seats recline

seats recline



Large suitcase storage area with lock

In the train are restrooms and even a baby changing station.  Each car has an overhead monitor in English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.  Theres even an attendant that comes through the train selling drinks and snacks.  For more information on where to purchase your N’EX tickets please refer to the JR East Japan Railway. 

We found the N’EX to be fast, convenient and affordable way to get to Tokyo from Narita Airport.




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